UK & World News
South Korea: Abducted Man Escapes From North
A South Korean man has escaped from North Korea more than four decades after he was abducted while fishing near the disputed Yellow Sea border.
Jeon Wook-pyo, 68, arrived in Seoul recently after escaping from North Korea in early August, a government official said.
"He is now under investigation by security authorities," the official added.
South Korea says more than 500 of its citizens - most of them fishermen - have been abducted by North Korea in the 60 years since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
Those who manage to make it back to the South are often treated with initial suspicion, and subjected to a rigorous screening programme to ensure they are not operating as North Korean spies.
Mr Jeon was among 25 fishermen aboard two boats that were seized by a North Korean navy ship on December 28, 1972.
The whereabouts of his fellow crewmen are not known.
An activist group said earlier that Mr Jeon had stayed in an undisclosed third country - probably China - after fleeing the North on August 11.
He then sent a letter to South Korean President Park Geun-hye seeking assistance, saying he wanted to spend his remaining days in his hometown, the group said.
South Korea has repeatedly urged North Korea to free remaining abductees, but Pyongyang insists it is holding no one against their wishes.
Since 2000, 28 former South Korean soldiers who were listed as killed in action have been confirmed alive in the North, with 13 of them appearing for reunions with their southern relatives.
The two nations have remained technically at war since 1953 because no peace treaty was ever signed and there are no mail, telephone or email exchanges between ordinary citizens across the heavily fortified border.
Many do not even know whether their relatives are alive or dead.